Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I Saw This!! What I Watched Pt. ii

I Saw This (double exclamation point) is our feature wherein Graig or David attempt to write about a bunch of stuff they watched some time ago and meant to write about but just never got around to doing so. But we can't not write cuz that would be bad, very bad.  Miss a Next Big Thing bad.

Part i here.

Stan Lee's Lucky Man S1, 2016, Sky 1 -- download

I didn't have enough to watch (hah hah) so I went fishing for more. The other side of the pond provided me with a crime procedural cum fantasy come superhero (Stan Lee's....). But no, not a superhero story in the least; they should have paid the man to strip his name off the top. Basically a London cop ends up with a bracelet letting him manipulate chance in his favour. But with consequences.

I loved  this show, but I admit having more than a passing fondness for British procedurals, while also needing a break from the abundance of really dark ones. Given this has a genre element, it was a that much above the rest. James Nesbitt (who we most recently saw as a hobbit with a funny hat) is DI Harry Clayton, a gambling addict cop but a good man at heart -- that's a key point. Sienna Guillory, doing a much much better acting job than in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, slaps a magic bracelet on him, in a bid to have it go to someone who won't ruin other people's lives for their own good fortune. And Harry gets dragged into a conspiracy that wants to own and control fate.

Con Man S1, 2015, Vimeo -- download

OK, Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk in a web comedy about a star of a short lived scifi TV series (*ahem*) who has fallen so far, as to only do the con(vention) circuit. Yeah, its a thinly veiled reference, semi-autobiographical of the guy who didn't do anything after his cult TV show was cancelled. Not Alan Tudyk, of course, as he has kept on acting and acting, most recently the voice of K-2SO in Rogue One. But really, its him. But is not.

These are web bits, 15 minutes or so for each episode with a TON of cameos and appearances by his friends and fellow genre actors. Most of it is odd ball and gimmicky, but there is a "season arc" there, as he tries to reconnect with the fantabulously successful star of the series (Nathan Fillion), and find real work.

What makes this series work is that it is both a mockery of fans and actors in cult scifi, and also a very real ode to them. Personally, I never had much patience for the con crowd, the great unwashed of obsessed fandom. Yeah yeah, a little bit of over-generalizing but you know what I mean. Felicia Day stars as an extreme example of them, a seriously deranged fan (has an ability to always be dressed exactly like Wray Nerely [Tudyk]) full of poop jokes. But really, the worst of the worst are the talent, from Nerely's weird agent Bobbie, Sean Astin (as himself) who has no issue taking his fans for all their worth, Nolan North (video game voice actor) as The MoCap King, and so on...

The season works for the most part, though a few bits strain to escape from sketch copy realms. Of course, Tudyk, as a not completely likeable but at least understandable Hollywood actor, is great.